Departure from Our Village

When the lock got so rusty it fell off, its clink

Echoed in the basement

Of our hollow stomachs.


Not knowing the sound of freedom, we locked arms at the elbows.

When one moved forward, we all fell

Smothered, seduced, or murdered by people we thought loved us.


When we tried to stand, the chips under our feet  

Slid us into each other. Our bodies touched.

We made more of us.


As our nails scratched across the bars

We      made     music.



You               hate. We ate poison.

Our plump bottoms shook and fell.

We made bass.


We summoned cries from the bottom of the Atlantic.

Recorded sobs and wails,

From the West African shore.


We made song.  


Like demi-gods

                       There was nothing

We could not create.


Even you–

You were formed

From the vibration of our lungs.


Divided We-

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Death is dark. With Depth. Bodies

Fall down one over the other


And spin as light as leaves in the wind—

A twister of blue and black bodies


Spin to ash, to dust. Hush,


America. The old mother with copper limbs

And nightlight in hand


Swaddles and carries us in

Red, white, and blue blankets.


She can no longer walk

on water.


Shawn R. Jones 7/2016



Five in the Morning


Branches bow
and nod heavy
with white
frozen wet wings

as ice cream coned hedges
take winter’s first lick
on a snow covered
crisp crackling dawn.

The house is quiet.
Ghosts are asleep.
Not even dad
can haunt me in this space.

Yet, as I flush
another poem
through this vein,
I know nothing
is gentler…
or scarier… than this snow
that reflects
the pale blue light of dawn.

By Shawn R. Jones 2015

You do not want to be here

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Your bitterness,

like a shawl

wrapped loosely

slips off my shoulders like silk.

No matter how many times

I gather you up in my arms,

you do not want to be here.


I can see your bitterness,

the same vacant look

in Grandmother’s eyes

before she died—

here but not here

there but not there,

cursing that liminal space.


I can hear your bitterness,

lightning silenced by

the opaque clouds

of forged laughter—

a serpent

constricted by etiquette and religion,


shedding through cracks in the wall,

bitterness curdled in your veins.


Shawn R. Jones





Thin People Are Not Always Healthy

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This winter, I let myself go.  What does that mean?  This winter it was often snowy, icy, and cold outside, and homey, cozy, and warm inside, so what better activity was there to do but eat?  I made a conscious decision to eat whatever I wanted to eat, as often as I wanted to eat it.  I experienced so much freedom in the process.  However, I do not recommend it because I went up a dress size.  For those of you who are thinking, well you were small anyway. Well, let me share a fact with you. Thin people are not always healthy.  An extra five pounds on my short frame, means higher blood pressure.  An extra ten pounds means an increase in my blood pressure medication. Because high blood pressure runs in my family, I have to be extremely careful. While most people only worry about how they look in the mirror… I worry about what a few extra pounds may do to my heart.

I know I am sharing my personal health information, but I really don’t mind. I just need you to know that you CAN be an unhealthy size two and you can be healthy size 10. I am learning to focus less on my clothing size and more on what I put in my mouth.  I admit, I am greedy.  I love my Oreo cookies, vegan ice cream, pancakes with plenty of syrup, Captain Crunch…Oh yes, Captain Crunch with Silk Milk!  Fruit Loops… and any number of sugary vegan treats!  Let me not stay on this too long or I may end up taking a midnight trip to Shop Rite.

For all of you 0, 2, 4, 6ers, you can die of a stroke or heart attack, too. I have squeezed my sugary hips and thighs in a size 6 all winter, blood pressure just dancing all over the place!  Mind you, I have a friend who is three sizes bigger than me and her heart pumps like a symphonic band. What is the difference? We both exercise regularly, but she, unlike me, is not a sugar addict. If you eat what you want, but think you are in great health because you exercise, I have news for you.  I have been there and done that.  All winter, on average, I worked out an hour a day, but I ate sugar like there was a sugar shortage!  Well, guess what?  It’s over.

For the past three days, I have stared at a box of Oreo cookies. Every time, I reach for one, I have to talk to myself. What do I say?  Well, I say the same thing every time.  “Shawn, you are not going to die if you do not have a cookie.”  I had to tell myself the same thing when I was out having dinner with my husband.  “Shawn, you are not going to die if you drink water instead of lemonade.” And the next day, “Shawn, you are not going to die if you have oatmeal without sugar.” Then for lunch, “Shawn you are not going to die if you do not have fries with your vegan burger.”  Then earlier tonight, “Lord, thank you for helping me have self-control today.”

Whew!  It has been days and I am still alive, even though I have not had sugar!  And I got on the scale tonight to discover that I have already lost half the winter weight I gained.  And even better than that, I joined the symphonic band.  In a few months, I plan to be off of this medication.



 Sugar, now you are where you belong, in the trash compactor with the rest of the junk!

By Shawn R. Jones


Author of the devotional book, Pictures in Glass Frames

and the poetry chapbook, Womb Rain,


Happy 26th Birthday to My Son

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Happy 26th Birthday to my son! I have been sitting here for 5 minutes trying to think of a few sentences to describe my son and all I can do is tear up because I cannot find the words to express how I feel about him. There are no words, just love, pure and indescribable.

Jeffrey, in a week or so, you will know exactly how I feel when you look into your own son’s eyes and cradle his tiny body in your arms for the first time. 

I love you! Happy Birthday!

Photo credit: Julia L. Jones

My New Password

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Let’s start with technology.  You know that famous quote from the book A Tale of Two Cities? “It was the best of times. It was the worse of times.”  Well, that quote pretty much sums up this age of technology.  We are more efficient, but less attentive.Everything moves faster, but our minds move more slowly. We no longer memorize 7 digits because they are stored in our cellphones. God forbid if we lose our cellphones or lose the data in our cellphones!  We wouldn’t be able to call our own mothers!  The least we could do is memorize our mother’s phone number.  Oh, and dad’s number, too. Oh, and our kids and grandparents… Yes, there are certain numbers you should just memorize.

Oh and don’t let me get on the subject of passwords.  I have at least 10 passwords, maybe 15! I am so afraid of folks stealing my information and identity that I make them extremely complicated like 89Cab42Crackpot500Skittlez!!!  Then I have to remember it by saying something like, “My 89 year old grandmother caught a cab on 42nd Street and the driver was a crackpot who ate 500 packs of  skittles with a z!”  Really? Do I real…ly have to go through all that because there are a few brilliant, misguided crackpots out there stealing identities? I mean if you are brilliant enough to become a hacker…why can’t you get a real job?

I had my identity stolen before. It took me months to get it straight. Months!  And then guess what? Two years later, I realized it still was not resolved.  What did I do about it?  I robbed a bank and they got locked up!

Just kidding! I just changed all my passwords again! I don’t do on-line banking and I don’t pay my bills on-line. I am an old-fashion pen, stamp, and envelope girl.

So now I have  a new password: Ifyoutrytostealmyidentitymydeceasedgreatgrandmotherwillbeinyourbedtonight

I figure if I start making passwords like that, the hackers will assume I am crazier than they are and just more on to the next person.

Well, readers be wise and be safe and have a great night!

Branches Hang Low

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Branches Hang Low

Branches hang so low, icy fingers crawl across the snow when the wind blows. – srj

It Rains Cold

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It Rains Cold


We take a long drive

to the shore

and collect details

of our life like seashells.

We find everything on

the same beach.

Cracked or whole,

we place them in the bucket,

knowing not to build a castle

out of sand and slime.


Shawn R. Jones, 2014



Author of the devotional book, Pictures in Glass Frames

and the poetry chapbook, Womb Rain,